Show your work! Or don’t…

There is a lot of thought around the idea that in this new world we should be sharing our creative work as it is, not just when it is perfect, Steve Pressfield *and Paul Jarvis are good examples of this. Austin Kleon even has a book entitled Show your Work*.

I am a big fan of the artist Crystal Moody, and she creates everyday and shares it. We recently had a discussion on a recent post about her sketchbook has become more than what she thought it would. I responded saying that:

My sketchbook has evolved, I now call it my soul book or just journal. I’ve realised that I’m not a visual person, but more of a text one and I have accept that as OK, which sounds daft, but it has taken me a while. It goes everywhere with me and I develop ideas, sketch in some things which I see around me and stick things in that I like for whatever reason. I do gratatitude in there, planning, and essentially just thinking on paper. I love my journal and you can take it away from my cold dead fingers. It is how I think and so many blog posts and other ideas stem from there. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Crystal said that she would love her sketchbook to be like that, but she is constrained by feeling it needs to be pretty.

I pointed out that I never, ever share my journal with anyone, that it is my safe space and maybe she could try having one for every day and one that is for sharing – that might lead to a different relationship.

I guess it is different, I am a writer and she is a visual artist, but I do wonder if the constant pressure to be Instagramming our work, sharing the details and behind the scene constrains us?

I do share my work, that is what my blog is, but it is not the rough version, it is polished. The rough ideas are captured in my journal, composted for some time, go through my 1000 words a day and then they are edited. It’s hardly the same as sharing the one thing I do everyday. I wouldn’t photograph my daily journal writings, or even my 1000 words as they are written.

When I go on a walk I may take around 30 + photos but only one, sometimes two ever get kept. I wouldn’t share all the outtakes.

I saw someone (and I forgot to clip it into Evernote so I could source it, sorry), saying that as a musician they never show you the hours and hours that they put into practicing their scales, why would they…you just get to see the final performance.

That rings true for me, I do think that we need to show our work with integrity, rather than everything that we do.

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  1. If I had a diary, I would keep it private. I would not want anyone to read my diary, if I am alive. If I am writing a blog and comments that I would love to share them and people reply to them.

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